On Sunday I hurt my back. Badly. Just doing the dishes, leant over to grab the pancake mixture sodden whisk and ‘phop!’ – couldn’t move. Turns out its not serious and will settle quickly, it’s just the after effects of carrying babies and giving birth. But what came out of the experience was the time to sit, do nothing (apart from watch Masterchef for 5 hours straight), read and think.
As I lay immobile and did nothing much, I found my thoughts kept coming back a post I’d read by Headspace’s Andy Puddicombe a week or so ago, part of which read:
“…Generally we tend to compare our situation to those who have more, or who we perceive to live in a nicer place, a warmer environment, or whatever else it might be. We often forget that our situation right now, compared to many other people in the world, is incredibly fortunate.”
So although I couldn’t do a lot yesterday and was hurting quite badly, I didn’t feel angry or sad or sorry for myself at all. My thoughts were actually positive ones, and instead of focussing on the things I couldn’t do yesterday, I instead focussed on the things I could do and what I did have. I concentrated on the fact that I was able to get treatment for my back quickly and cheaply, unlike many other people in the world. I took solace in the fact that I would be able to walk again, and that I have 2 feet. I felt happy that I didn’t feel this level of sensation permanently and that I unlike so many others I do not suffer from chronic pain. I was warm and relatively comfortable and had people around to care for me. And for these things I was grateful.
I came to the conclusion that really I was lucky. If that was all that that severe twinge in the sacrum was about, reminding me of my good fortune, then I was happy to have experienced it. Sometimes we just get so caught up in what we don’t have, it takes a random event like that to bring us back to reality and realise how fortunate our lives really are. So the next time the world seems to be crumbling around you, instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the situation, take your attention to what is going well and the experience will become much easier to manage.